Tag Archives: Diamond Jubilee

Weekly Photo Challenge: Two Subjects

10 Jun

This challenge came in on April 13th, but my tardy response is a subject for discussion another day.   I don’t want to subject you to yet another long post, so I’ll make it brief.

I did intend to make a joke about school, but Tinman beat me to the punchline, as usual…this time, with a pencil.  Read his response here.

Although the Diamond Jubilee celebrations are all but over, I thought it would be interesting to compare two of the Queen’s subjects.

There is me, the fervent monarchist, who spent the weekend feeling like this:

And, after four days of constant telly watching, with eyes like this:

Then there’s the Queen’s less worthy subject, who really ought to be clapped in irons, if only to make me happy.  His reaction to the whole wonderful spectacle and celebration was this:

Off with his head!


It’s All Over For At Least Another Sixty Years

6 Jun

 A jolly good time was had by all except half my Facebook friends.  And all of my family – anti-monarchists, the lot of them; atheists as well.  I sometimes wonder if I really exist in this house or if I’m a figment of my imagination.

I finally got to watch a Queen’s Speech last night, because I wasn’t eating my Christmas Dinner.  It was brief and to the point: Thanks guys; you’re great.

The service at St Paul’s was nice.  I’ve been there once; it’s a beautiful building.  As the camera panned back to show the whole thing, I was horrified at how huge it is: I can’t believe I ever let my boys go to the top of it, on the outside, without me.  Yes, they survived, but now I’m going to have a sleepless night or three imagining that they didn’t (I’m a retrospective worrier). 

As you can see – great view of London from outside St Paul’s dome – and of Tory Boy’s arm. Not sure what happened to this photo.

The only member of the Royal Family I’ve seen in real life is Prince Philip, when I was nine.  It was at my Big Brother’s passing out parade at Aldershot barracks, when he joined the army.  Unfortunately, I only have the knowledge of the memory, not the actual memory, if you know what I mean: I know I was there; I know Prince Philip was there…but that’s it – in my mind, only a blur of soldiers and the back of a tall man who might or might not have been royal, is all I have.  But I do remember eating lunch in the NAAFI. 

It was the same for the Silver Jubilee in 1977.  I was thirteen.  I know we had a street party because Mum and I played bingo in Jeanette Achilles’ Mum’s kitchen with the other neighbourhood women for twelve months, helping to raise funds; but I have no recollection at all of the day.  I have told this story before but it’s vaguely topical and I’ve had lots of new readers since I last told it and besides, I’ve never really gotten over it:

I attended each weekly bingo session with my Mum, who paid all my fees.  I won a bread board and wanted to give it to the first of my Big Brother’s many wives; my Mum was a little miffed.  Clearly, she could see into the future and knew that bread board was going to have a temporary home at best.  My Dad insisted I gave it to my Mum.  It still hurts.


My Jubilee posts gave rise to some interesting comments.  Here are two of my favourites:

From Rory Bore, in response to our Jubilee picnic:

I danced for her when I was a little girl. She was genuinely delighted and impressed to watch our little step dancing group perform. kept asking for another dance. While poor Prince Phillip was being “entertained” by my stepfather taking about their huge ship anchored out on Lake Ontario. (must be a Navy man thing. LOL)  They were both such a delight

From Bluebee, in response to the Jubilee concert post, where I mentioned a Right Said Fred concert I attended in Johannesburg in the Nineties:

I was at that very same RSF concert in JHB

Talk about a small world! 

Stand Up (Right Said Fred album)

Stand Up (Right Said Fred album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I can’t let this post pass without a recommendation that you visit Kate Shrewsday and her Jubilee party post; you must listen to the audio of her delightful little nephew, Big Al, who solemnly apologised to the Queen:

I’m sorry I blew a raspberry at you.

Finally, yet another showing for my favourite-ever Queen story.  I know many of you could recite it by heart, but new readers will enjoy it, I’m sure; it is supposed to be true:

The Queen was entertaining a visiting head of state; they were parading down the Mall in a horse-drawn carriage, chatting nicely, when one of the horses made what can only be described as a rude noise.

QEII: I’m so sorry about that.

HoS: Please don’t apologise; if you hadn’t said anything, I’d have assumed it was the horse.



The Jubilee Concert: A Review

5 Jun

 Diamond Jubilee concert fireworks

I watched the Jubilee Concert last night.  I wasn’t there, of course;  I watched it on telly, but I figure if I can review movies after seeing them on screen, why not a music show?

I had better state my credentials so you can see how serious I am about this review: the last concert I attended was Right Said Fred in Johannesburg.  In a club, not a stadium; and in the afternoon.  It was so hot in there, Fred’s lead singer shared his bottle of water with the audience.  Sweet.  At least three people managed a drink before it ran out.   By the way, he really was too sexy for his shirt; he had to take it off.

I bought a RSF shirt and wore it to death, it was so comfortable.  It was only when a young couple passed me on the street and I overheard one of them say, ‘Right Said Fred?  Are they still alive?’ that I decided to retire it.

It was on the way home from that concert that I realised cars have waists.  We were in downtown Joburg traffic during rush hour, when a car overtook us from behind as another approached us head on.  I swear our car sucked in its breath to avoid being hit.  The Hub maintains it was his skillful driving but he’s just a Hub, so I don’t believe him.

Back to the concert.  It was fun.  I enjoyed it.  I can’t share any of it because I still can’t upload videos for some reason that no one can fathom, so I will add links to the names of the acts I mention (where available), in case you are interested.

There were performances from artists from every decade of the Queen’s reign – literally, in the case of Rolf Harris, who arrived in the UK from Australia in 1952.  I expected more Commonwealth artists.  There weren’t many, though we sneaked in a couple from the States, or ‘the Colonies’, to give them their real name.

The comedians who hosted weren’t particularly funny, especially Rob Bryden, who made a couple of dated jokes about queens, which made him sound a little homophobic.

Cheryl Cole proved she really doesn’t sing very well.  It was embarrassing.  Ruby Turner proved she is a fabulous singer.  It was fabulous.  I couldn’t help wondering why Cheryl is such a massive star and Ruby Turner isn’t.  I had never heard of her before last night; though her Wikipedia page is impressive.  I think it’s because Cheryl looks like this:

English: Cheryl Cole wearing a Lurex dress whi...

English: Cheryl Cole wearing a Lurex dress whilst performing with Girls Aloud at Battle Abbey, Hastings. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 And Ruby doesn’t:

Ruby Turner with Jools Holland and his Rhythm ...

Ruby Turner with Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra (Photo credit: Man Alive!)

Even Zemanta favoured Cheryl – look at the difference in the size of the photos.  And I could find a You Tube link for Cheryl but, surprise, surprise, not for Ruby.

Skinny beats talent every time in this shallow, celebrity-obsessed world of ours. Mind you, a lot of last night’s talent, no matter how skinny, was, um, past its prime.  Paul McCartney, Cliff Richard, even Rolf Harris, all sounded croaky.  And was it me, or was Elton John lisping?  He sounded bizarre.

Perhaps it was nerves: even pianist Lang Lang (I thought they were introducing one of our new pandas) hit a bum note; and Paul McCartney called Prince Charles’ wife the Duchess of Cornwell.

Madness weren’t bad, up on the palace roof.  The projections onto the front of the palace were impressive.  Kylie and Stevie Wonder were great.

My favourite act of the night, however, was Grace Jones.  She wore an anemone hat, a plastic swimming costume and hula hooped while singing Slave to the Rhythm.  Utterly bonkers and therefore quintessentially British, even though she isn’t:

If you didn’t watch the concert, at least click on Grace’s link; and take a look at the photos at Sky News, where you will see Annie Lennox in wings and Kylie as a pearly queen.

It makes you proud to be British.

Our Diamond Jubilee Picnic

4 Jun

I never got to the christening: although we Brits do pomp and pageantry extremely well – one thousand-boat flotilla, anyone? – we’re not so hot on public transport.  The earliest bus to get me to the church on time left on Saturday night.  I went to my church, instead; and to the picnic afterwards. 

One of our oldest members.

The service was nice; we finished by singing the national anthem.  I can’t remember the last time I sang it outside of my house – we Brits aren’t hot on national fervour; unless there’s a football involved. 

Our vicar!

And we’re definitely not hot on weather, unless you like your rain torrential.  We had to hold an indoor picnic.  The church needs new lighting and my camera is small, so the pics are not great, but you’ll get the flavour of the day.

Fancy dress was optional but most of us chose to wear red, white and blue.  I wore a white top under my red blouse but you can’t see it in the photos.  I raided my hair box for patriotic colours: 

I’m not big on style, but at least I’m enthusiastic.

Master of Ceremonies Mark and Arthur the Fox, who made the suit himself, were the sartorial winners of the day:

I made the mistake of stepping up when the call came out for volunteers.  It was a drinking contest.  This was church, however, so it was Adam’s Ale: we had to drink a bottle of water – from a baby’s bottle. 

That was some of the hardest work I’ve ever done – my jaw ached for an hour.  No wonder babies fall asleep when they feed; they’re exhausted. 

Photo Copyright Pam Robinson

I needed the drink after all the food:







And guess what?  I won!  Here’s my prize (from Google, because my picture was dreadful):

 After pass-the-parcel, we just had time for a natter before heading home. 

 I spent the afternoon watching the Thames Pageant on tv.  The Queen (86) and the Duke of Edinburgh (91 next Sunday) stood the whole time.  According to Wikipedia, Prince Philip is the United Kingdom’s longest-serving consort and the oldest serving spouse of a reigning British monarch.   I bet most of that service happened yesterday afternoon – 1000 boats take a long time to travel up the Thames. 

I recorded the end and intend to fast-forward through it this afternoon.  Diamond Jubilees are all very well, but I wanted my dinner.

Happy Anniversary Diamond Liz

6 Feb
Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II X

Image via Wikipedia

The Queen has been on the throne sixty years today.  Anyone else would be allowed to retire.

"Princess Lilibet". Derivative image...
Image via Wikipedia

To celebrate, here are some interesting facts:

  • My Nan was born 18 April 1914 and named Elizabeth, known as Lil.  The Queen was born 21 April 1926 and named Elizabeth, known as Lilibet.  Coincidence?
  • The Queen is visited by the reigning Prime Minister every Tuesday that she’s home in Buck House.  Some jobs suck.
  • The Queen has attended 34 Royal Variety performances.  Like I said: some jobs suck.
  • The Queen has two birthdays, one the actual and one the official.  She gets to ride with handsome soldiers on horses in June for her public birthday.  Nice, but I’d prefer a box of Maltesers.
  • The Queen is the only royal female to serve in the armed forces.  My Mum was in the Army for three years, apart from the time she went awol.   She and a friend ran home to Liverpool from Richmond; my Nan gave them a meal, bath and bed, then took them to the police station next morning, to turn themselves in.  The Army took them back.  The Army didn’t know what they were letting themselves in for.
  • The Queen has nine royal thrones: one at the House of Lords, two at Westminster Abbey, six in the throne room at Buckingham Palace.  I have two: one upstairs; one down. 
  • Queen Elizabeth II is the fortieth monarch since William the Conqueror stole the crown of England.  From Bill to Lil in forty easy steps.
  • The Queen speaks fluent French.  Blame it on her Norman ancestry.
  • Prince Andrew was born in 1960, eight years after she came to the throne.  That makes her the first reigning Queen to have a child since Queen Victoria gave birth to Princess Beatrice in 1857.  The first Queen Regnant pregnant.

I would like to tell you the story about the Queen and the farting horse, but I’ve told it at least three times in this blog, and probably more.  Instead, here’s a link to it.

Happy Anniversary, Queenie.

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